Martin Luther’s Monsters

Prodigies, or monsters, were opaque and flexible symbols that signaled that God was sending some message.
Ayecohtli (pictured left) as the scarlet Runner Bean (Phaseolus coccineus): 1931-33 reproduction of The Badianus Manuscript, 1552; Rare Book Collection, Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University, Washington, DC

Plant of the Month: The Runner Bean

From Aztec medicinal remedies to Darwin’s study of flower pollination, local knowledge about the runner bean reveals the importance of biodiversity.
Deathly Hallows Cover

Sci-Fi and Fantasy Build Mental Resiliency in Young Readers

Science fiction offers readers a way to rethink social dilemmas.
A woman on a conference call in front of a bookcase

The Timeless Art of the Bookcase Flex

Flaunting a massive collection of books did not start with work-from-home videoconferences.
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Edward_G._Robinson_and_Joan_Bennett_in_%27Scarlet_Street%27,_1946.jpg

How Fritz Lang’s Flight from Nazi Germany Shaped Hollywood

German expressionism--imported to Hollywood by Jewish exiles--brought a lasting tradition of shadows, duality, and mirroring to mainstream American cinema.
Illustration of a woman walking with a book

The Library That Walked Across Belgium

What two scholar-artists learned from taking ninety books on a very, very long walk.
Tim Robinson

Deep Mapping with Tim Robinson

By walking his way around an island off the coast of Ireland, the late artist broke with cartography's origins in marking ownership and conquest.
A few BabySitters Club Books

Do Series Books Turn Kids Off Adult-Approved Novels?

Goosebumps. The Baby-Sitters Club. Even Nancy Drew. In the 1990s, concerned educators wondered if series books were luring kids away from "literature."
Thomas Edison's 1896 silent film "The Kiss" featuring May Irwin and John C. Rice.

The First Movie Kiss

The public fascination was so intense that fans soon started demanding live reenactments.
Children playing ring around the rosie

The Linguistics of Cooties (and Other Weird Things Kids Say)

The game of cooties lets children learn about the idea of contagion, but kid culture and wordplay aren't meant for adults.